Game 154. 0-ffensive. Yanks blanked for third straight game.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

You can’t win if you don’t score. For the third consecutive game, the Yanks were shut out as they lost to Toronto 3-0.

Lately, Joe Girardi’s bullpen moves have been questioned, leading Girardi to become very testy lately in his dealings with the media. Even when he appears to make the right move, as yesterday, it doesn’t work out.

CC Sabathia pitched his heart out, pitching seven shutout innings,  but was pulled for Tyler Clippard in the eighth. Clippard gave up a two-out, three-run HR to Jose Bautista to lose the game.

The Yanks managed only three hits all game. With injuries to Headley, Teixeira, Castro …. and the youngsters now on the team, the lineup lately has looked like a spring training lineup.

I worked all day yesterday, but did hear one thing on the radio on the way home. At one point in the game, Gardner was on first base. Gardner has 16 SB this season. This from a guy who led the league a few years ago. A guy who stole 49 and 47 not long ago. In other words, Gardner isn’t running enough. He should have at least twice as many steals as he has now (that goes for Ellsbury too, who has just 18). Sterling and Waldman mentioned that he doesn’t run enough, then wondered how, when he finally decides to try and steal, he tried to do so on an 0-2 pitch with two out—-the easiest pitch for the other team to pitch out on. Sure enough, Toronto pitched out and Gardner was out. Sigh.

The loss drops the Yanks to 79-75. They are 4 1/2 games out of the final wild card spot with just 8 games to go. Their tragic # is 4.

They need to go 3-5 in the last 8 games to avoid a non-winning season, which would be their first since 1992. Even at that, they have to go 5-3 even to match their worst season since 1992 (which was 2014 at 84-78). Those 8 games are against the three teams ahead of them, Toronto, Boston and Baltimore. Not only that, Tanaka, who will miss his next start, may miss the other one as well.

Sabathia 7 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 3 walks, 2 K. 4.02
Clippard (L, 3-5, 3.60 AZ/NYY) 1 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 2 walks, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR.

 

Game 153. Yanks blanked again, 9-0.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

As I wrote yesterday, Gary Sanchez can’t do it by himself. He had two hits Friday night, but other than him, the Yanks only got one other hit (Ellsbury) and lost 9-0 to Toronto.

The loss is the Yanks’ 9th in their last 12 games. It officially eliminated them from winning the division.

They are 79-74, and as far as a playoff spot is concerned, they are 4 out with 9 games to go, and have to jump four teams.

Besides not hitting, nothing much went right last night. An error let in two unearned runs, and although Bryan Mitchell was decent, the bullpen let the game get out of hand.

Mitchell (L, 1-2, 4.50) 6 IP, 3 R, 1 ER, 6 H,  4 walks, 2 K.
Parker 1/3 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 2 walks, 0 K. 5.17 (Sea/NYY)
Pazos 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 10.80
Heller 1 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 walks, 2 K, 7.50. Gave up 1 HR.

Game 152. Yanks blanked, 2-0.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Gary Sanchez can’t come to the rescue and hit a HR every day. He didn’t on Thursday night and his teammates couldn’t step up as the Yanks lost to Tampa Bay 2-0.

Luis Cessa pitched well, giving up a run in the first and a solo HR in the sixth, but with no offensive support….

The loss drops the Yanks to 79-73. They are almost eliminated (E #1) as far as winning the division goes. They are 3 out of the final wild card slot with 10 games to go, and need to jump 4 teams.

Before the game, the Yanks sold Phil Coke to the Pirates.

Masahiro Tanaka will miss his next start because of a forearm strain. If the Yanks are completely out of it, they should then just shut him down for the season.

Cessa (L, 4-3, 4.30) 6 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 2 walks, 6 K.
Severino 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 3 K. 5.70.

Game 151. Baby Bombers lead Yanks to 11-5 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Gary Sanchez hit 2 more HRs, becoming the fastest to 19 (it took him just 45 MLB games to hit his first 19 HR) and drove in five runs as the Yankees beat Tampa Bay on Wednesday night, 11-5.

He had help. Donovan Solano had 3 hits, drove in 2 runs and hit a HR.

Mason Williams had 2 hits and an RBI.

Brian McCann had 4 hits.

The Yanks won despite giving up five HRs to Tampa Bay, all solo shots. Unbelievably, four of the HRs came in one inning, and three were in a row. All HRs given up by Masahiro Tanaka. Outside of that inning, Tanaka was masterful, but ouch, what an ugly inning that was.

The Yanks got three right away in the first inning. Gardner singled, Ellsbury (back in the lineup after a few days off due to a bruised knee) walked, and Sanchez singled in a run. McCann singled to make it 2-0, and after a couple of outs, Ronald Torreyes singled to make it 3-0.

The Yanks got four in the second to go up 7-0. Solano and Gardner singled and both moved up on a groundout by Ellsbury. Sanchez then hit his first HR of the game (18) to make it 6-0. McCann singled, Teixeira doubled him to third, and McCann scored on a SF by Didi Gregorius.

Laugher, right? Wrong. In the bottom of the third, Tanaka gave up FOUR solo homers. Three of them were in a row with two out. Unbelievable.

I was once at a game where a Yankees pitcher gave up 4 homers in an inning. It was in Chicago vs. the White Sox in 2005. The Yanks’ pitcher? Randy Johnson.

Anyway, all of a sudden, it was 7-4. Take away that one inning, and Tanaka pitched five innings of shutout, 3-hit ball. But that one inning, hoo-boy.

Despite that meltdown inning, Tanaka still leads the AL in ERA at 3.07.

Sanchez’ second HR of the game (19) made it 8-4 in the sixth.

Adam Warren gave up a HR in the 8th to make it 8-5.

The Yanks got 3 insurance runs in the 9th. Gregorius singled, and moved up on a groundout. Williams (I like this kid, and think maybe Gardner could be trade bait for a starting pitcher in the offseason. With Eovaldi to be out until 2018, they will need one, unless a minor leaguer like Enns or Adams is ready) singled in a run, then Solano hit a 2-run HR to make it 11-5.

The win puts the Yanks at 79-72. 11 games to go. They are 2 1/2 out of the last wild card slot but need to jump over 4 teams to get it.

A sad note: former Yankees player Yangeris Solarte, now with the Padres, lost his wife recently to cancer. She was just 31.

Tanaka (w, 14-4, 3.07) 6 IP, 4 R, 7 H, 2 walks, 5 K. Gave up 4 HR.
Warren 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 4.90 (Cubs/NYY)
Layne (H, 12) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 3.21 (Bos/NYY) One batter …. again.
Clippard (H, 24) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 3.20 (Az/NYY)
Holder 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 5.40.

SWB wins AAA Championship.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Each year, the International League Champ plays the Pacific Coast League Champ in a one-game, sudden death game to decide the AAA Championship.

This year, it was the Yankees’ AAA team, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders, the International League Champ, going up against the El Paso Chihuahua’s, the Pacific Coast League Champ and the AAA team of the San Diego Padres.

SWB won, 3-1, on a 3-run HR by Chris Parmalee.

He had 2 hits as did Clint Frazier and Jake Cave.

Game 150. Sanchez does it again! Yanks win 5-3.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Forgive me for a moment as I play devil’s advocate.

If you are the manager of another team, and the score is tied, and the other team has runners on 2nd and 3rd with two out…

and the HOTTEST hitter in baseball is up at the plate…

do you pitch to him? Or walk him to load the bases for the next hitter, hoping for a force at any base?

And if you are the owner of a manager who decides to pitch to him anyway, only to see that batter hit a 3-run homer that wins the game, do you fire that manager?

For that is exactly what happened in the Yankees’ 5-3 win over Tampa Bay Tuesday night.

Of the 16 outs Michael Pineda recorded for the Yanks tonight, 11 were by strikeout. He gave up a two-run triple in the third to put the Yanks in a 2-0 hole.

Mark Teixeira hit a HR in the fourth to cut it to 2-1. Teix’s 13th HR of the year was #407 of his career, tying him with Duke Snider on the all-time HR list.

In the seventh, Ronald Torreyes and Mason Williams each singled. 1st and 3rd, one out. As I mentioned before, I think the Yanks should look at dealing Gardner for a decent starting pitcher and look into giving the LF job to Williams in 2017. He might platoon with Frazier (Williams vs. RHP,  Frazier or Hicks vs. Lefties).

Gardner singled to tie the game, Williams going to third. Gardner stole 2nd while Hicks (just off the DL) stuck out.

So 2 out. Men on 2nd and 3rd, tie game. Sanchez up and 1st base open. Would you pitch to the hottest hitter in baseball or walk him?

Fortunately for us Yankees fans, Tampa Bay manager pitched to Sanchez. He should be fired for his decision. Sanchez hit a 3-run HR (17) to the delight of us Yankees fans.

Was he kidding? Pitching to Sanchez right now?

Thank you very much, Kevin Cash.

In the 8th, a triple and WP let the Rays score a run.

Pineda 5 1/3 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 1 walk, 11 K. 4.89
Layne 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 3.24 (Bos/NYY).
Once again, Girardi uses Layne for just 1 batter. AAAARGH! At least THIS time, it didn’t burn him.

Severino (w, 3-8, 5.88) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K.
Clippard (H, 23)  1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 2 K. 3.22 (AZ/NYY)
Betances (S, 12) 1 P, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 2.79.

Anthony Swarzak was called back to the Yanks, the other day.

The win puts the Yanks at 78-72 with 12 games left.

 

Game 149. Losing streak continues. Yanks swept in Boston.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks are off today. If ever a team needed a day off, it is them right now.

Deja vu all over again.

Once again, the Yanks had a lead in Fenway. Once again, they blew it. Once again, a reliever doing well gets pulled because the manager goes by the book, and the new reliever loses the game. Once again Hanley Ramirez killed the Yanks.

The Yanks’ 5-4 loss to Boston Sunday night was their fourth in a row to Boston, as Boston swept the weekend series. It was the Yanks’ fifth loss in a row overall and dropped them to 77-72.

What really hurts is that these losses were winnable games where the Yanks had leads and blew them, made bad pitching decisions, or as in the loss to the Dodgers that started the losing streak, made errors that gave the game away.

With 13 games to go, the fourth place Yanks are 8 games out of the division lead, and 4 games out of a wild card. They need to jump 4 teams to make the wild card, and although they aren’t mathematically eliminated, you can stick a fork in them.

The Yanks brought up Donovan Solano to replace Starlin Castro, who may be done for the season with a hamstring injury. Jacoby Ellsbury will miss a few games with a bruised knee. Solano got his first MLB hit in the game.

SWB plays El Paso in a one-game playoff Tuesday night. International League champ vs. Pacific Coast League champ. I don’t know who SWB has anymore. Most of their guys are now up with the Yanks. SWB still has Parmalee, Cave, Frazier, Higashioka, Payton…. some guys are up from AA just to fill out the roster.

As for the game, the Yanks got a run in the first on an RBI single by Didi.This came after a double by Gardner, two strikeouts and a walk to Butler.

Gary Sanchez hit his 16th HR of the year to make it 2-0 in the third. What a beast.

The Yanks went up 4-0 in the fourth. Solano singled, Mason Williams doubled. Refsnyder walked to load the bases. Gardner drove in one run with a force out. Torreyes drove in another run with a forceout.

Then the roof caved in. Again. Once again the Yanks built a lead, and didn’t score the rest of the game. Once again they blew the lead and the game.

CC gave up a 3-run HR to Hanley Ramirez in the fifth. 4-3.

Three straight singles in the sixth tied the game for Boston and CC was gone. Once again, a Yankees starter couldn’t go deep in the game.

Blake Parker came in, finished the sixth, gave up no more runs, and struck out two.

And once again, Girardi pulls a reliever who just pitched well, goes to his binder, brings in another reliever (Clippard in this case) and that reliever blows the game. Clippard gave up a HR to Ramirez (his 2nd of the game). 5-4 Boston, and it would stay that way.

As I said, I like Girardi as a manager, think he is a good one, but I have two quibbles with him. 1) He never bunts or is aggressive. You don’t see Billyball. The Yanks don’t bunt, squeeze, steal often enough, or hit and run. 2) He goes by the book (or binder) too much. Go with your eyes and gut, Joe. You see a pitcher doing well, leave him in there for more than one batter or one inning.

You hate writing about these kinds of losses or harping on something, but if this is how it is every game, what can you do? Things need to change.

These last few games have been like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. Same s***, different day.

Frustrating.

Boy do they (and we fans) need this day off.

If the old man, the Boss,  were still alive, hoo boy.  Would the s*** hit the fan after a four-game sweep in Fenway in late September to kill off your postseason hopes. Especially with some questionable moves.

Sabathia 5+ IP, 4 R, 8 H, 3 walks, 5 K. 4.19  Gave up 1 HR
Parker 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 2 K. 2.93 (Sea/NYY)
Clippard (L, 3-4, 3.12; Az/NYY) 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Layne 1 IP,0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K. 3.27 (Bos/NYY)

What do you know. Layne can actually pitch to more than one batter.

I’d like to see what Mason Williams can do from here on out. He had two hits last night.

Gut feeling: Gardner and/or McCann get shopped this offseason for a starting pitcher.